What do you bet these good men are dead by next week?

While fanatics fight, ordinary people try to live. In Hebron, a City with a sadly bloody history, a few good men have had the courage to try to achieve stability and some measure of harmony:

Heads of local Palestinian clans in Hebron met on Sunday with representatives from Israeli settlements in the area and discussed the easing of tensions between the two sides.

The settlers reported that sheikhs Abu Khader Jabri and Haj Abu Ahram Abu Sneina representing the city’s Arab Muslim population in the West Bank city met in Jabri’s home with the Kiryat Arba Regional Council head Tzvi Katzover, former Knesset Member Elyakim Haetzni and other settler leaders.

The commander of the IDF’s Hebron Brigade, Colonel Yehuda Fuchs, also took part in the meeting.

The Israelis said Sheikh Jabri told them during the meeting that “I do not regard you as settlers but as residents. This city is yours just as much as it is ours.”

The Jewish participants described the meeting as cordial, adding that the sides agreed to strive to live in peace with one another.

You can already anticipate the response that these Sheikhs’ humane, moral efforts received:

According to the Israelis, shortly after the meeting began, the al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades issued a proclamation throughout the city that called for dealing with the meeting’s participants “with an iron fist.”

And just to make it more likely that this threat will be put into action, Israel released more than 30 al-Aqsa Murderers back into the pond.

So, back to my original post title: How likely is it, do you think, that these decent men, men who clearly want their children to live a quality life, and to have their souls freed from the burden of religious and racial fanaticism, will still be alive even a week from now? I’ll try to keep an eye on the Israeli newspapers and see what happens.

UPDATE: I’ve switched to a new server, so you can feel free to look around here or check out my new site, which not only has the old stuff, but also will move forward into the future with all my new material.

The stupid dance begins again *UPDATED*

We now know that the Gazans instant collapse into existential despair the last time Israel reduced their electricity flow was a carefully choreographed dance that served two purposes: it enabled Hamas to knock down the wall Egypt had built (a wall about which no one in the West ever complained) and it gave photo ops to the useful idiots in the Western press. It looks as if the whole grotesque dance is starting all over again:

Israel began reducing the amount of electricity it sells to Gaza as part of sanctions against continued rocket fire, Israeli officials said on Friday. The move prompted a warning from the United States not to “worsen the humanitarian situation” of the civilian population in Gaza, and was followed by the firing of yet more rockets at Israel by militants there.

Israel began reducing its electricity flow into the Gaza Strip by less than one percent late Thursday night. By Friday afternoon, 21 rockets had been launched against Israel, an Army spokeswoman said, with several landing in and around the Israeli border town of Sderot and in open areas south of Ashkelon, a larger Israeli coastal city north of the strip.

Israeli officials said the electricity had been cut by about one megawatt out of the 124 megawatts that Israel provides to Gaza, and that an additional megawatt could be cut each week depending on the security situation and the needs of the Gaza population. Israel said it would continue to provide the necessary minimum to prevent harm to the safety or health of the residents.

Has there ever been a time in the history of the world when Country A repeatedly states its wish to destroy Country B and then acts upon that wish, only to have Country B continue to keep vital material flowing into Country A? I’d like to say that it’s gotten to the point that Israel is too stupid to deserve the gift of national survival, but I won’t. It’s true that the Israelis, for reasons unclear to me, keep the amazingly ineffectual Olmert in office, and it is true that the Israeli peace movement could more aptly be named the National Suicide Pact, but there’s more to it than that.

The fact is, Israel inadvertently made a pact with devil when she began to rely. Because America is a necessary part of the Israeli war machine and the Israeli economy, Israel can’t afford to alienate her — that would be a suicidal act as sure as just opening the borders and letting in the Palestinians. So as long as the US has this bizarre “let’s make nice with your killers” attitude, Israel is completely handicapped. She cannot fight a war against her open enemies and, instead, ends up subsidizing them as they fight a war against her.

It always was a Catch-22, of course, because Israel could never have survived as long as she did without US aid. It’s like steroids I guess: first they make you stronger, then they destroy you.

UPDATE:  While Israel is forced by world pressure to support her enemy, fellow Arabs have no such constraints.  As James Taranto describes:

Arabs love Palestinians in the abstract–as a symbol of the putative evil of the hated Jews. But they’re not so crazy about Palestinians as actual human beings. Here is a prominent Egyptian who is so averse to Palestinians that even their money isn’t good enough for him.

From the “they deserve each other” department

I’d grown up hearing that it takes two thieves to strike an honest bargain.  That’s sort of true here, with each side ending up with nothing — which is pretty fair, considering what each was offering the other.

The crystal ball was accurate once again

Here’s what I wrote yesterday:

Laer does a fantastic post about Israel’s decision to cut of power to Gaza. I would be more impressed if it weren’t for the fact that I know that, in a day or two, when Palestinian shrieking reaches fever pitch, the UN, Europe and the US will gang up on Israel and demand that she act in a more humanitarian way. And Israel, instead of sticking to her guns and refusing to provide supplies to those trying to destroy her and every one of her citizens, will yield — and the Palestinians will be heartened once again.

And here’s the news today:

Israel resumed fuel supplies to the Gaza Strip’s main power plant on Tuesday, offering limited respite from a blockade that plunged much of the Hamas-ruled territory into darkness and touched off international protests.

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said she had voiced her concerns to Israel, which has argued that sealing the borders could make the Palestinians stop rocket salvoes.

“Nobody wants innocent Gazans to suffer and so we have spoken to the Israelis about the importance of not allowing a humanitarian crisis to unfold there,” Rice told reporters travelling with her to Berlin for a meeting on Iran.

“Nobody wants innocent Gazans to suffer….”  Somewhere, lost in that whole little touching intro is the fact that Israel cut power to Gaza because those innocent Gazans, over the course of the two days before the fuel shutdown, lobbed 53 rockets into Israel.  Apparently a few in Gaza very much want innocent Israelis to suffer.

It’s only when one digs halfway through the story that any mention is made of those rockets — and then one learns that Israel caved, not because the rockets stopped, but because they merely lessened:

Israel’s decision to allow in emergency supplies followed a decline in the number of rocket attacks.

Islamist Hamas refuses to renounce the fight against the Jewish state and opposes peace moves by Abbas, who condemned the Israeli closure as harmful to diplomacy.

Palestinians launched at least one rocket into Israel from Gaza on Tuesday, causing no damage, compared with 45 salvoes on Friday and Saturday, the military said.

Israel will go down in history as the only country in the world that supplied the enemy with the weapons of Israel’s own apparently inevitable destruction.

Quick picks *UPDATED*

I’ve got a deadline, so I thought I’d just give you a few links to things that interested me this morning:

Rick Moran highlights Zimbabwe’s insane inflation, another horrible indictment of Mugabe, who took one of Africa’s most stable and prosperous nations and reduced it to abject poverty.

An Iraq War widow, trying to help others, was scammed out of $57,000, and now needs help.

I don’t know if Jonas E. Alexis is a good writer or not, but he’s certainly written what sounds like my kind of book: In the Name of Education: How Weird Ideologies Corrupt our Public Schools, Politics, the Media, Higher Institutions, and History. You can read an interview with him here and see if it sounds like your kind of book too.

Chavez the coke-head — it explains so much, including the paranoia and megalomania.

About three years after the rest of us, NPR is finally catching on to the fact that there is a problem integrating Islamists into Western culture, especially when it comes to the subjugation of Muslim women.

Laer does a fantastic post about Israel’s decision to cut of power to Gaza. I would be more impressed if it weren’t for the fact that I know that, in a day or two, when Palestinian shrieking reaches fever pitch, the UN, Europe and the US will gang up on Israel and demand that she act in a more humanitarian way. And Israel, instead of sticking to her guns and refusing to provide supplies to those trying to destroy her and every one of her citizens, will yield — and the Palestinians will be heartened once again.

I blogged yesterday about the problem with Obama’s race, and it’s not that he’s black, it’s that the Left cares deeply that he’s black. Apparently (and unsurprisingly), I’m not the only one who has figured this out. Slate is running excerpts from what promises to be an interesting book: Richard Thompson Ford’s The Race Card: How Bluffing About Bias Makes Race Relations Worse. Given the nature of the publishing industry, this book was obviously written before Obama and Hillary dove into the cesspool of racism, so its presence on the market right now is serendipitous.

That great curmudgeon Pat Condell takes on Canadian dhimmitude.

UPDATE:  Hah!  What did I tell you?  Two days and Israel’s already started caving.  I can also guarantee you that the Palestinians are not thanking the Israeli’s for their munificence.  Instead, they’re gloatingly thinking “weak, weak, weak” — and they’re right.

George Bush may well be right

Although I think he’s fallen into the stupidity trap that plagues all American presidents who get embroiled in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, I actually don’t doubt the possibility that Bush will force through another peace agreement within the next year.  These agreements are easy to reach, with the Israelis so desperate for peace (especially under the craven Olmert) that they’ll agree to anything; and the Palestinians willing to agree to any plan proposed because they have no intention of abiding by any proposal, at least not for the long haul.  The Palestinians’ widely trumpeted long term goal is the destruction of Israel and the death of all Jews.  To achieve this goal, they are willing, in an entirely unprincipled but effective way, to say “yes” to any proposal that comes along if it will buy them time and gnaw away at Israel’s position.  Israelis used to win because they were smart; they’re losing now because they’re acting dumb.

Random thoughts about Annapolis

Regarding Annapolis, I’ve had little to say. I feel as if I’m watching a car accident in slow motion, horrified by the spectacle, but helpless to do anything. I do have one hope, though, and one comment. My hope is that the Arab nations attending get into “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” mode and recognize that they may need to form an alliance with Israel against the greater threat that is Iran.

The comment is that I know the outcome is going to be the same old, same old: Palestinians are going to emerge with tangible benefits based on their promise never to be bad again. This will happen regardless of a long history showing that this is one promise they can’t keep.

How about this instead: If Palestinians promise to go 40 years without attacking Israelis, and do in fact keep that promise, then they will get X, Y & Z.

By the way, that 40 years is a deliberate number that you may recognize from the Bible: God determined that 40 years in the desert was a sufficient time for the old, slave generation to die out and a new nation to be born, deserving of its own land. Maybe 40 years of self-imposed peace amongst the Palestinians will be enough to see the fading away of the hatred that currently animates them so that a new people can be born.

Of course, my wish will never see the light of day. As always, Israel will make concessions and get nothing in return but bombs dropped on her citizens. As many have said, until the Arabs take the first step of recognizing the Jewish state’s right to exist, everything else is meaningless, pointless window dressing. As Bernard Lewis said in a WSJ article (which, unfortunately, is behind the subscription barrier as of this writing):

If the issue is about the size of Israel, then we have a straightforward border problem, like Alsace-Lorraine or Texas. That is to say, not easy, but possible to solve in the long run, and to live with in the meantime.

If, on the other hand, the issue is the existence of Israel, then clearly it is insoluble by negotiation. There is no compromise position between existing and not existing, and no conceivable government of Israel is going to negotiate on whether that country should or should not exist.

UPDATEA little boost for my theory that the Arab leaders showed up because their fear of Iran outweighs their hatred for Israel.